Bid writing is one of those areas often left out of a normal business strategy, but it shouldn’t be, and we’ll discuss why in this article.
Firstly, let’s cover what a ‘bid’ is. Put simply a bid is an offer. Bid writing describes the process required to make a formal and often detailed offer. This comes in the form of a proposal and/or tender document.
On a smaller or less formal opportunity this could be an email quote; however, when the service, product or work requires a detailed and competitive solution, this often comes under the banner of bid writing. A bid writer will collect information from across the business in order to write the most compelling bid or offer as possible. Their job is to support the submission of tenders and proposals but importantly to maximise an organisation’s win rates.
Looking at this in a context of a business strategy. A business strategy will clarify the businesses place in the market, their unique selling point and how to leverage that. It will identify who the ideal customers are and how they will meet the growth ambitions. It will assess the mission, visions and values. Competitors will be analysed, against differing customer requirements in order to establish the best routes for growth and service delivery.
This strategy is essential for any business. However, getting this across on paper, written in a proposal takes time and is a skill. If it is not clear to your customers what your unique selling points are, or why you are better placed to support them you may not see the growth you expect when responding to an opportunity. By investing in bid writing, when a business is presented with an opportunity they will be able to ensure their approach and competitive advantage is clear to those evaluating their bid. This will result in higher success.
Often bid writing is associated with formally advertised and public sector tender opportunities. Advertised usually free of charge, via public sites such as the contracts finder website.
There are lucrative contracts available and the government is pushing for more and more SMEs to be involved in the process. By assessing what is available, what they require and who is winning them you can tailor your strategy to ensure you have a winning and compelling offer. This is a significant route to market that all businesses should assess for viability.
Bid writing will improve your approach to writing persuasively, ensure your unique selling points are clear, allow you to increase your win rate and often compete for larger and longer term contracts.
To build your bid strategy it can help dramatically to work with a bid writing company. One such example is Thornton & Lowe who have a 75% success rate with their bid writing. By working with an established tender writing consultancy you get to learn from the expertise already established.